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LaVerne Olson of Filer, Idaho passed away peacefully on June 19 in Wendell, Idaho. LaVerne was the eldest of eight children born to Joseph and Blanche (Kro) Kovar in Bremen North Dakota on June 25, 1925. LaVerne later moved to Harvey, North Dakota where she graduated from high school. At seventeen, she boarded a train to Portland, Oregon to work as a welder in the Kaiser shipyards. On Christmas Day 1944, LaVerne married Sergeant Russell Olson from Drake, North Dakota while both were home for the holidays. Following WWII, Russell and LaVerne made their home in Harvey, literally, designing and building three of their houses. Russell and LaVerne had six children, Ronald Olson (Alice) Grandforks, ND, twins Sheila Ray and Sharel Kay (deceased shortly after birth), Debra Proksch (Richard) Salem, OR, Darrell Olson (ex-Phyllis) Albuquerque, NM, Harold Olson (Heidi) Gooding, ID.
While living in Harvey LaVerne was active in many social organizations including 4H (Pres), IOOF Rebecca’s, Sorosis (Pres), American Legion Auxiliary (Pres), Ladies Aid, Sewing Circle, Country Home Makers, and the non partisan Democratic Women’s Club where she was a local chairman for the North Dakota Mental Health Assoc, to name a few.
LaVerne worked for many years at JCPennys creating window displays. In 1965, following her divorce she relocated to Filer, Idaho where her parents and two of her brothers lived. Times were tough for a 40 year old divorced homemaker with a high school education and dependent children. She worked at Fox Foral then, luckily, her expertise with a sewing machine led to her becoming a trainer at Kellwood Manufacturing making pantyhose. When Kellwood closed, she worked at KMart and later retired at 73 from Skyview Nursing Home.
Lovey Long Legs will be remembered for her creativity, knack for decorating, green thumb and ‘have to have a’ picture taking. She loved creating window displays and decorating her home. She did cross stitch, knit sweaters, sewed clothes and painted ceramics. She was the ‘go-to’ person amongst her friends for the how-to crafts of the day. If she wasn’t helping a friend cover shoes to match a dress she was decorating a cake shaped like a Bible, arranging alter flowers, baking 78 records to make decorative wall hangings or organizing the making of a parade float. Wherever LaVerne traveled she brought back a snippet of a flower or plant and created a yard full of memories, everything grew except maybe a redwood tree.
LaVerne enjoyed traveling across the country to the East coast, up and down the West Coast and by herself to her father’s birth place in Dolni Dobrouc, Czechoslovakia at the age of 68. Her favorite place, though, was the home she filled with ‘Made by LaVerne’ things and the many pictures of the places she had been and people that she loved.
LaVerne is preceded in death by her twin daughters, Sheila Ray and Sharel Kay, son Darrell, son in law Richard Proksch, parents, sisters Marvelyn Kovar and Darlene Wagner and brothers James and Morris Kovar.
She is lovingly remembered by her brothers Gene (Donna), Joseph (Verna) and Royce Kovar; her sons Ronald and Harold and daughter Debra; her grandchildren Stacie Byzewski, Jay Olson, Jennifer Bare, Jonathan Proksch, Steven Olson, Penny Syversen, Patricia Savre; eleven great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
At LaVerne’s request a private family viewing will be held Monday, July 23, 2018 from 3:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Her family would like to thank the staff at Stonebridge Assisted Living in Wendell, Idaho for the loving care provided for LaVerne during her stay.